(Originally posted on February 12th 2012)
How can I not write something today? I am in Olympic Air right now on my way to Athens. I have just about started my journey and it is as if the entire economic condition of Greece has flashed before my very eyes. At the airport counter, the lady was old. There was only one announcement saying that passengers with infants, business class passengers and economy passengers seated between seats 20 and 27 should board. I left towards the end. I had sufficient place to stow my luggage so it didn’t matter to me. When we entered the flight none of the air hostess greeted us. Then for some reason which I cannot fathom; they discretely removed their jackets and did the safety features in a sleeveless green dress. This was probably the second time since 1999 that I actually looked and listened to the safety protocol. Though my thoughts were on anything but the safety features. Once the safety announcements were over those jackets came back on to the disappointment to all the guys including myself. For that period I even forgot that the reclining function on my seat does not work. The toxic smell of the fat Greek guy next to me seemed light years away. I honestly cannot make out which orifice is emanating it.
Dinner is served. Italian biscuits,Danish butter and Austrian cheese. God only knows the origin of the main course and Greek salad. A passenger on the aisle is made to carry his own food and fold his tray after being served so that the food trolley can pass. Are there other flights available that may be better than Olympic? I would say definitely. However there is just one flight that leaves late in the night and that is the one that I am on.
What does this have to do with the current scenario in Greece Well everything. 10 years back Greece was an ageing economy. Then the Olympics happened in 2004. That spiced up Greece and presented it in a fresh way. To get the Olympics, Greece portrayed itself as this fresh young country. It somehow managed to sneak into the EU. In the 2008 crisis; Greece along with Ireland were the first countries to guarantee that no person having deposits in any bank in Greece will lose money if the bank defaults. One and a half years on and Greece has come to the Chinese and the EU with a begging bowl. The EU had no choice but to bail Greece out. Apparently the EU have placed strict regulations for the bail out. Bollocks. I doubt that Greece will be able to conform or meet those demands. I was not surprised when my fat co-passenger asked for a second meal. The Greeks may be back asking for more money. They’ll probably get it too. So once again Greece will be ruled by a foreign power. Stripped bear of its culture. Hopefully at least the women and wine continue to be Greek. If these two have to get adulterated then Greece will be better off surrendering its EU and Euro membership and giving it to Turkish Cyprus.